VBS in Traverse City, Mich.

John Cole, pastor of Northland UB (Traverse City, Mich.)
Last year we set a goal to have 40 children attend VBS, and we met that goal. This year we wanted to reach 50-60 children and their families. We held VBS on Friday evening, from 9 a.m. – 2 p.m. on Saturday, and on Sunday morning during the worship service. Not only did we serve a total of 55 children, but we had probably a dozen visitors, including one who told John that she felt the Holy Spirit’s presence at our church.

At the conclusion of the VBS, which had a service theme, we took the children to an assisted living facility just down the road from the church. The children sang a couple of songs to the residents and gave them each a sun catcher they had made during the weekend. Even the smallest children willingly gave gifts and hugs to the residents. We wanted to give the children and their families an immediate opportunity to serve their community, and they did.

One parent sincerely thanked us for having VBS on the weekend because, as a parent who works fulltime, her child had previously been unable to participate. She also expressed a desire to begin attending Northland.

All of these things are great, but the best part of the weekend was when ten children, three from our own congregation, accepted Christ. We were so excited last year when three children made commitments. We have been asking God to show us needs in our community that we could meet and through this He has shown us lonely people who need companionship, parents who crave safe activities for their children, and many children and families who need hope. We got to share that hope with so many this weekend. We praise God for showing up in such a powerful way.

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